International: Feasibility Study and Recommendations for a Sanitary Landfill, The Gambia

Bakoteh Dumpsite, Kanifing, The Gambia

Background and Challenges

Fully understanding the environmental impacts from the Bakoteh Dumpsite will be beneficial to future infrastructure planning.

The Bakoteh Dumpsite is the largest dumpsite in The Gambia. Originally built outside the city, with continued population growth, residential and commercial development now surround the 18-hectare dumpsite. Dumpsite fires, odors, mosquitos, and public outcry are big challenges for The Gambia’s largest municipality, Kanifing. However, Kanifing has limited funds to build key solid waste infrastructure. Kanifing’s leaders prioritize better solid waste management and have actively built partnerships to begin addressing issues in steps. Their goal is to build a sound, long-term infrastructure to manage solid waste.

Goals: Close the Dumpsite – Plan New Sanitary Landfill with the Kanifing Municipal Council

With no sanitary landfill and an ever-growing urban population, the waste needs to go somewhere. The best and current location is in the unlined Bakoteh Dumpsite. The community routinely penalizes illegal dumping and maintains a solid waste collection vehicle fleet. Donkey carts cover hard-to-reach and slum areas within the urban area. The community’s challenge is catching up on solid waste infrastructure, which starts with a sanitary landfill.

SCS Engineers, in partnership with the Midwest Gooh Group, evaluated the Bakoteh dumpsite and recommended short-term actions and a long-term vision for solid waste infrastructure. The Kanifing leaders now use this vision, developed in over 20 meetings with key community stakeholders and in-person evaluations in June 2019. The solution encompasses the following:

  • Constructing a sanitary landfill outside the current urban area,
  • Capping the Bakoteh Dumpsite,
  • Using a portion of the current Bakoteh dumpsite as a long-term transfer station/material recovery facility,
  • Adding small transfer stations in other parts of the urban area,
  • Maximizing the potential recoverable/renewable energy from the waste or solar panels as part of the cover system on the Bakoteh dumpsite.

Outcomes and Benefits

Kanifing uses the team’s recommendations to help eliminate short-term challenges to reduce fires, increase revenue, and improve positioning for funding support. SCS continues to help increase awareness of this project through events and associations.